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News

20 Dec 2005

How's That Again? An Echoing Refrain

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/20/arts/20echo.html

Acoust.jpgBy BERNARD HOLLAND [NY Times, 20 December 2005]

Echo is the musical gift that keeps on giving, sometimes longer than you wish it did. We get a lot of echo this time of year. Christmas music belongs in churches, and the big ones are bighearted enough to make sure we hear a single performance not once but a number of times in quick succession.

In the space of a second, light moves 186,000 miles. In the meantime, sound has limped about, say, 1,100 feet. Think of fireworks in the distance. We see them; the sound arrives later. Creating music indoors is like throwing a number of balls around a four-sided handball court and waiting for them to come back to you. If the balls are of different sizes and thrown at different speeds, your ears, so to speak, will have their hands full.

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